The Deserter's Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq Hardcover – Jan 19 2007
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"...a story worth telling: how a good man became lost in an immoral system..." -- Quill & Quire, March 2007
"The Deserter's Tale is a very slim book, but it never pretends to be more than one man's account. Key does the math, as should the reader: If this is what one soldier saw in seven months, imagine the sum total of the inhumanity being perpetuated in Iraq." -- Toronto Star, February 11, 2007
"The case of Joshua Key . . . is unique. He is the first US soldier who actually served in Iraq to claim sanctuary from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, based on his `personal experience with atrocities' in Iraq. . . .Key will be able to raise the question of the war's legality as a defense." -- -- Michael Roberts, The Province
"The writing is fluid, crisp and compelling. The story is shocking... [told] with unflinching frankness..." -- The Gazette, February 3, 2007
"What's most engaging about this book is its essential honesty... The Deserter's Tale ought to be required reading for soldiers heading overseas..." -- The Globe and Mail, February 10, 2007
From the Author
When I was still being recruited in Oklahoma City in 2002, I had to sign a paper to the effect that I had read and understood a warning from the military: Desertion in the time of war means death by a firing squad. That just about sums it up. We could do whatever we wanted to Iraqis. But if we ran from duty, there would be hell to pay. I will never apologize for deserting the American army. I deserted an injustice and leaving was the only right thing to do. I owe one apology and one apology only, and that is to the people of Iraq. -- Joshua KeySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Joshua Key was so crushingly poor that he fell for the advertising and decided to enlist to guarantee a regular paycheque and healthcare for his family. Given guarantees that he would be building bridges within the continental U.S. - they pulled that line on my friends during Vietnam, too - he was sent to Iraq six months later.
The idiocy of the American campaign is made eminently clear as Josh tells in painful detail about how he never even saw the enemy - and spent his time brutalizing Iraqi civilians as directed by his officers. Iraq wasn't a haven for terrorists before the American invasion - but it is now, and the Americans are the ones who made it that way.
This book will give you a good picture of life as a soldier in Iraq, and give you pause when you think about what our men are probably doing in Afganistan right now.
Soldiers were kept on edge, kept fearful and with a lack of sleep. Violence was normalized and all Iraqis and Muslims were dehumanized. At first, the nighttime house raids created a rush but as time went on, Joshua recognized the hundreds of violent house raids for what they were, acts of terror on innocent civilians. Joshua relates stories about atrocities committed by American soldiers and abuse of power with no accountability.
Nightmares followed Joshua home to the states after his tour of duty in Iraq. Much anguish and thought went into his decision to not go back to Iraq.
This story is well-written and is a rare look inside the U.S. military. Definitely worth the read.